Billionaire Robert F. Smith, best known as the CEO and founder of Vista Equity Partners, has announced the development of a new program involving HBCU alternative loans.
According to The Moguldom Nation, these “alternative loans” have been designed with closing the racial wealth gap in mind.
The Student Freedom Initiative (SFI) will be a scholarship program that targets juniors and seniors in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) majors. The repayment plan for these scholarships, according to the website, will be “manageable and scalable with their income after graduation.”
Claflin University, Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, Hampton University, Morehouse College, Prairie View A&M University, Tougaloo College, Tuskegee University, and Xavier University are all participating in the HBCU alternative loans program, which is set to begin its outreach later in 2021.
“Each year, thousands of Black graduates from HBCUs across America enter the workforce with a crushing debt burden that stunts future decisions and prevents opportunities and choices,” Robert F. Smith said in a statement posted on The Moguldom Nation. “By addressing the financial stress of college and providing students with resources and community, we can finally broaden the talent pipeline and create a more diverse and thriving economy.”
The HBCU alternative loans are set to average at about $32,000 per student.